The New Shul

Parshat Sh’mot

In this week’s parashah, Sh’mot, the Torah begins the story of our enslavement in Egypt by telling us that “there arose a Pharoah who knew not Yosef.” Rashi wondered, how could any Pharoah not have heard of Yosef, who had saved Egypt from famine? Rashi explained that what the Torah meant is that the new Pharoah acted as if he had not heard of Yosef. Pharoah chose not to remember, and that choice was the beginning of our enslavement.

Often we become our own Pharoah. We enslave ourselves by choosing not to remember what we really know. Deep down, we understand that life is ultimately not about things, but about relationships. Our capacity for connection is what gives life meaning. But often we act as if we did not know that. And when we choose not to know, we descend into Mitzrayim (Egypt), which the rabbis understood to mean “the narrow place.”

It is by taking time to remember what really matters most in life that we become free again. We call Shabbat “zeikher liy’tziyat Mitzrayim” (a reminder of the Exodus from Egypt), because, on Shabbat, we step back and remember what we already know, what makes life rich and meaningful. May this Shabbat, and every Shabbat, be a day of liberation for us.

  • Shabbat services at The New Shul are on Friday evenings from 6 to 7 pm and on Saturday mornings from 9 am to 12 noon. The kiddush this Shabbat, December 21, is sponsored by Patsy and Lee Bakunin in honor of their 29th wedding anniversary and in honor of the birthdays of Ruth Schindler and Esperanza Andujar.
  • Childcare is available from 10 am to 12 noon on Shabbat mornings. Beyond Bim Bom for grades 2 to 5 meets this Shabbat from 10:15 to 11:30 am.
  • Minyanim during the week are on Sunday mornings at 9:30 am and on Wednesday mornings at 7 am.
  • On Shabbat morning December 28, The New Shul community will celebrate the (2nd) bar mtizvah of Arnie Silverman, as he turns 83 years old.
  • On New Year’s Day, Wednesday January 1, and again on Martin Luther King Day, Monday January 20, The New Shul community will serve meals to the hungry at St. Vincent de Paul’s Jackson St. dining room. Please let us know if you can help.
  • Please note that there will be no e-bulletin next Thursday, December 26. The bulletin will resume on Thursday January 2.